Israel admits striking suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Mar 22, 2018, 01:16
Israel admits striking suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

"The facility that was. destroyed by Israel was a nuclear reactor under construction", Amano said.

"One can only imagine what might have happened and what kind of reality we would have faced in Syria if Israel had not bombed the reactor in Deir al-Zur in time - before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria and before the Revolutionary Guards penetrated Syria.Israel owes a great debt to all those who took part in the planning and execution of the operation".

"Marking 10 years since that operation and looking at the Middle East, we fully understand how much it has affected reality", he said.

In the darkness of a late Wednesday night in September 2007, eight Israeli fighter jets streaked out of southern Israel, heading north.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Mossad confirmed the existence of the Syrian site in March 2007. Some speculate it could be a warning to Iran or be timed to coincide with the release of a memoir of Ehud Olmert, who served as prime minister during the strike.

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The strike came about a year after Israel's inconclusive war against Hezbollah, in which the Lebanese guerrillas battled Israel's army to a stalemate.

The Israeli military has formally acknowledged its destruction of a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, saying the air strike removed a major threat to Israel and the region and was a "message" to others.

"The motivation of our enemies has grown in recent years, but so too the might of the (Israel Defence Forces)", he said. It contained a graphite-moderated reactor capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, similar to North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility, Israeli and American intelligence showed.

In a February report, Amano said that features of the bombed structure in al-Kibar were "similar to what may be found at nuclear reactor sites". Israel has warned against the establishment of a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria, particularly in areas close to Israel.

"The global community must know that Israel will always protect the security of its citizens and take all necessary steps in the face of threats in our region", said Danon.

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It also comes as Israel wages a very public lobbying campaign against Iran - a key Syrian ally - and the deal to curtail its nuclear program.

Israel has expressed growing concern over what it sees as Iran's attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria. Their reconnaissance convinced Tel Aviv that "the facility would become active toward the end of 2007", the IAF said, recalling that this assessment "prompted the IDF to initiate an attack on the facility".

Shortly after midnight, precision-guided Israelis bombs, dropped by the F-16s and F-15s circling above, ripped apart the facility, sending a plume of smoke into the Syrian sky.

Israeli military chief of staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, who was northern commander at the time, recalled in a video in the material meeting with his officers shortly before the raid.

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